15 Unhealthy Coping Skills (Part I)

    When I was hospitalized, I realized that I, like a lot of you, use some pretty unhealthy coping skills to overcome different negative emotions. These coping skills led me to do some pretty dumb things, and think very ineffectively. Using the skills listed below will only ever have a negative impact; on you, on your surroundings, and on your loved ones. Whether you know it or not, examine the list below to see if you use any of these negative coping skills when facing stress.
If you use just one, or all of the below, now is the time for self reflection, and self improvement. Its up to you to decide your actions and outcomes. In overcoming these choices remember that it takes time. It may take time to recognize that you use ineffective coping skills. The key is to then turn your ineffective, unhealthy coping skills into more healthy forms of release (See Healthy Coping Skills post).
I promise that as you examine yourself and add new healthy ways to cope into you life, you will find more light. Your relationships with others will flourish, and you will find yourself, as I’m learning to do. This list is only 15 ineffective coping skills, but as you examine yourself, add more to the list! Feel free to share your experiences.

  1. Leave without warning
  2. Fighting & negative comebacks
  3. Defensiveness
  4. Flight-mentally
  5. Sleeping away the problem
  6. Passive-aggressive behavior (ultimatums)
  7. Negative body language: crossed arms, rolled eyes, crossed and closed off legs and arms
  8. Not listening but jumping in waiting to talk
  9. Avoiding eye contact
  10. Over-eating
  11. Under-eating
  12. Lack of sleep
  13. Letting go of reality
  14. Lack of proper hygiene
  15. Lack of communication
    My life experience: One day my sister and I were misunderstanding each other. No matter what was said, I realize looking back that I used many ineffective coping skills. I was checked out mentally and waited for my turn to talk. At times I would even interrupt her to get my point across. I eventually stopped talking and walked away. I lacked appetite all day, and couldn’t sleep well that night. Looking back as well I realized my body was done talking when the conversation started.
    The good news? I was able to mend the wrong, and use courage in correcting my error. The best part about all of this was I learned while in this experience, and while in the hospital. I can only control me. I can only control my thoughts. I didn’t need an apology from my sister because I was going to be positive about myself. With our relationship mended, we were able to use healthy coping skills at the appropriate time to continue to be the best of friends. Remember: its up to you. You can ONLY control you.
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